IL Farm Groups Unhappy with House Farm Bill
The U.S. House passed its version of a farm bill by sidestepping the issue that caused its earlier attempt to fail. Some Illinois farm groups aren't happy with that new approach.
After House Democrats and Republicans couldn’t agree over funding levels for the food stamp program, Republicans introduced legislation that simply included no funding for food aid programs.
So in effect, it split the bill into its two traditional components: farm aid and food aid.
The legislation narrowly passed as no House democrats voted in the affirmative.
The Illinois Corn Growers Association and the Illinois Farm Bureau released statements critical of the move.
Mark Gebhards, the Executive Director of Governmental Affairs for the Illinois Farm Bureau, said that even though the bill includes things like crop insurance, conservation programs and rural development, he thinks it threatens those programs long-term.
"Because what so many of our urban congressional folks view as important to them is that nutrition title or the SNAP program as we refer to it, and with that gone we think a lot of congress now is not going to see the need to move the remaining titles of the bill," Gebhards said.
He said if some major agreement between the U.S. House and Senate isn’t reached soon, efforts to pass a farm bill will “be back at square one.”